Syria: Talks with UN envoy on Geneva process were positive

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Geneva—The head of the Syrian government delegation to the indirect peace talks in Geneva says his side’s discussions with U.N. special envoy for Syria were “positive and constructive.”
Bashar Ja’afari told reporters after the meeting with Staffan de Mistura as the talks resumed on Monday in Switzerland that the government delegation “submitted ideas and views” for a political solution to the crisis.
He says de Mistura will meet the representatives of the opposition on Tuesday and the government team again on Wednesday. Ja’afari says his team wants “to negotiate as Syrians under Syrian leadership without foreign intervention and without preconditions.”
He says any party that opposes this premise is “trying to sabotage this round.”
He was referring to the oppositions demands from the previous round that failed in early February, demands that had included an end to bombardment, release of detainees and the lifting of the siege by government troops on rebel-held areas across Syria.
Russia’s Foreign Minister says federalization is one possible option in Syria if it is the will of the Syrian people. Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia will support whatever solution the Syrian government and the opposition devise to end the country’s war, including “any form (of government) whatever it may be called: federalization, decentralization, unitary state.” Speaking after a joint briefing on Monday in Moscow with his Tunisian counterpart, Lavrov also said countries should not launch attacks against terrorists in Libya without first receiving permission from the U.N. Security Council.
Lavrov said discussions about equipping Tunisian special forces in their fight against terrorism are ongoing.—APP

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